Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Change of direction?

This may be quite premature, but my thoughts are suddenly running in this direction: Suppose that the Bush neocons do not invade Iran. There finally may be realization among the neocons that this will also become a fiasco, but on a far greater scale yet than Iraq, which is already fiasco enough. We all are aware of the likely consequences will be if the U.S. and/or Israel attack Iran, and we are aware of the resistance to a U.S. (led) attack by other nations, most notably Russia and China, and the latter is the biggest outside threat to U.S. empire aspirations.

Bear with my rambling thoughts here:
- No attack on Iran has taken place yet, even though many credible sources predicted the high probability of this in the last week of March.
- In Bob Chapman's "International Forecaster" paid subscription report, he talks about the elite not wanting an Iranian invasion, and the Bush neocons do. If Bush is not impeached and continues as he has, he is slated for assassination.
- I have heard nothing of the Iranian Oil Bourse beginning to function. This was supposed to begin around March 20, give or take a few days. What is up here? Nothing but deafening silence. I'm not sure what this means.
- There has been increasing vocal antagonization between the U.S. and Venezuela, with charges and counter charges being made. Venezuela's form of democracy/economy is quite incompatible with that of the West, so it is a threat to them, and particularly U.S., neocons and perhaps also the elites.
- This morning, in the "Telegraaf", largest newspaper in the Netherlands, has a headline article about Venezuela threatening the Antilles, several islands off the coast of Venezuela that are former Dutch colonies, and still part of the "Kingdom" of the Netherlands. The threat is political unrest or even an invasion by Venezuela, Haiti and Cuba. This is suddenly being reported, front page. I am unaware of any problems or public concern by the Dutch government about this before. This smells to me of the Dutch elite working with the U.S. in setting up a U.S. invasion scenario to overthrow the Chavez government. Other countries in Latin America are following a similar course to Chavez and there is an alliance there, which is breaking free of the U.S. corporate/military dominance. Mexico is also predicted to go in this direction. So the whole backyard of the U.S., which considered Latin America its own semi-colonial turf, is being threatened. And all of the oil deposits, coffee and fruit 'markets' along with that. China is also making inroads into this oil market.
- While the preceding article in this blog (The 9/11 Truth Revolution)
is perhaps a little too much to wish for (I am not discounting this, however), the general American population is becoming more aware of the Matrix surrounding 9/11 and there is increasing dissatisfaction with the Bush neocons. This is, of course, directly connected to the Middle East as well.

So, my thinking is going in this direction: Perhaps the stakes are too high for an Iranian attack, but the control of oil and petro currency is still top on the neocon agenda. Venezuela, with huge reserves, could be the next target for the 'bringing of democracy'.

For some interesting Dutch cooperation in setting up Venezuela as mentioned above, see my post at

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Fascism issue


Brown Skin / Yellow Star: Turning the Corner Toward Fascism

by Juan Santos

The US Senate debates legislation that would make migrants an openly felonized, legally scapegoated racial and cultural under-caste, with deeply dangerous implications for us all. 600,000 or more to march this Saturday, March 25th, Broadway and Olympic, 10 AM.


As I write, the US Senate is debating legislation that would make migrant peoples a felonized, legally scapegoated racial and cultural under-caste, a move with deeply dangerous implications for us all.

Maybe it wasn’t such a lie, what the German people said after Hitler – “we didn’t know.”

Certainly the mainstream media isn’t telling you.

But many - Mexicans, Central Americans, and immigrant groups like the Poles and Irish know. As many as 300,000 of them marched together in Chicago recently to oppose these new laws.

20,000 marched in Washington DC.

People in Los Angeles know; over half a million people in LA are expected to march against these anti-migrant laws on March 25th. The march is being promoted on all the Spanish language media.

This essay is both a plea and a demand: you must march with us on the 25th; somehow you must take action...


We won't need a yellow star.

The color of our skin will mark us as suspects, as felons, as threats to "the homeland." Any cop will be free to stop us at any time, under any pretext, to check -- not for dope -- but for our “papers.”

At first it won't seem like much. Quietly, at first, a few of us will begin to disappear, just like some 60 thousand immigrants of Muslim and Arabic descent have disappeared since the onset of the Patriot Act; without a word. Like them, we will become targets of the so-called “war on terror.”

First it will be dozens, then hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands.

Mothers will disappear walking to the corner store. Fathers will never come home from work. Children will be left behind, sobbing in apartments empty of food, warmth, money and life. The neighbors will be afraid. The tens of thousands could readily become millions.

The picture painted above is nothing but hard headed realism. Legislation now before the US Senate would make every undocumented person in the US a felon and authorize every police department in the country to arrest people on immigration charges.

The size of the Border Patrol would, in effect, increase by 60 times, from the current 11,000 Migra agents to 663,546 enforcers. If each authorized officer in the US arrested one undocumented migrant once every three months, within five years over 11 million migrants would be gone – an ethnic cleansing without parallel in US history.

This is the future they have planned. Certain neighborhoods -- the Gulfton District or the North Side in Houston, Pico Union and Boyle Heights in LA, the San Francisco Mission District -- will be targeted. Almost everyone in them will be considered a "felon," or someone who has aided the "felons." They won't be able to be able to tell us apart. "A Mexican is a Mexican," is what they will say.

In certain neighborhoods concrete barriers will block the streets. Police and La Migra will arrange themselves in hunting parties together. Like clockwork, a police cruiser will turn the corner near your place, once every 60 seconds. No one will breathe. The children will have nightmares.

This isn’t just emotional rhetoric. It’s happened before; in the Gulfton District in Houston in 1990 and ‘95, and in Pico Union in LA in 1990. This is how it’s done. The barrio will be besieged, taken over from within.

They want to build detention camps for us. They are debating it now. They want to label us felons, but deny us a trial. They’re debating it now. They want to build a wall -- they want us to die, tongue swollen and hallucinating, without water in the desert. They are debating it now.

These are the human impacts of planning already underway. New border fences are an integral part of current legislative initiatives.

On Feb. 6, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced that the Fiscal Year 2007 federal budget would allocate over $400 million to add 6,700 additional detention beds for migrants, part of a10-year Homeland Security strategic plan, code-named ENDGAME.

According to a Homeland Security document on the plan, ENDGAME aims to carry out goals “articulated in the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798." Homeland Security is seeking the ability to "remove all removable aliens," including “illegal economic migrants, aliens who have committed criminal acts, asylum-seekers or potential terrorists."

Mr. Bush and the Christian fascists in power have found their scapegoat – and it is us. We are the new Jews in a new Germany in a new century. They call it the New American Century, a New World Order, a “unipolar” Reich – a White America over all.

E Pluribus Unum: the many eradicated; reduced to One. White. Nation.

This is the pretext. They call us "invaders." We represent a "destabilizing factor" for the "nation." They say we are dirty, just like they said the Jews were dirty -- and disease ridden.

They say our neighborhoods and our culture are "cesspools." They want to keep their culture “pure.” They say we “steal” the jobs that they have in fact shipped overseas, and that are nowhere to be found. And now they're calling us "terrorists,” just like they called our ancestors “savages.”

After decades the nation’s long-suppressed racism is finding an open voice once more, and they are openly strategizing about how to best appeal to the unconscious racist sentiments just beneath the surface among a broader public.

US Congressman Tom Tancredo warns about us: we (Mexicans and migrant peoples) "need to be found before it is too late. They're coming here to kill you, and you, and me, and my grandchildren."

It’s a matter of “spin.” One strategist on the right wing web site tells them how to spin it. He says that to deal effectively with us our enemies must “focus on terminology.”

“People who are in this country without proper documentation,” he writes “are foreign infiltrators. These foreign infiltrators operate clandestinely within our country. They are no different than the foreign infiltrators who destroyed the world trade center and attacked the Pentagon. Except that they haven't done anything yet.”

“…Once you have the terminology correct,” he continues, “it is easy to define a solution to discourage foreign infiltration. First, treat any foreign infiltrator as a prisoner of war. Turn them over to the military… No hearings, no public defenders, no backlogged courts, no squandering of American tax dollars protecting the non-existent civil rights of foreign infiltrators.”

The strategizing isn’t empty: these Minutemen fantasies are on the verge of becoming national reality.

Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Sensenbrenner’s HR 4437, The Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005, recently passed the US House of Representatives. Its most extreme and punitive provisions are being upheld by the Judiciary Committee of the US Senate.

This legislation would do just what the RedState strategist ordered.

Key elements of the Sensenbrenner bill include:

  • Making it a felony to be in the U.S. without legal documents. Under current law this is a simple civil violation. Millions of us would be classified as "felons" and subject to immediate detention and deportation, often without so much as a hearing. Access to the courts will be severely restricted if legislation currently under consideration is approved.

How can they tell who’s a felon? The felons will have brown skin. Fifty million of us. All of us will be suspects. What will they stop us for? Anything they please. After all, they already stop us for anything they please.

  • Making it a federal crime to “assist” our people who are without documents. Those who leave water in the desert to save the lives of migrants would become felons. Millions of teachers, doctors, priests, nurses, attorneys and others who give any kind of help or services to undocumented people will also become felons – overnight - and could face five years in prison and have their assets seized by the government.

Giving a ride to someone without the proper “papers” could lead to felony charges. It remains unclear if renting an apartment or selling a car to someone without “papers” would become a felony.

Cardinal Mahoney of the 5 million member Los Angeles Diocese of the Catholic Church has declared he will order his priests to defy this law, if it is passed.

  • Expanding police powers over immigrants. Police departments would be granted greater power to check legal status, a move that would increase the number of immigration enforcement agents by 60 times the current number. Local law enforcement agencies would be paid for detaining our people and turning us over to federal authorities.

These provisions will turn police into bounty hunters, the moral equivalent of Cazamigrantes, and highlight their role as a modern version of the Night Riders that once terrorized communities of color.

  • The construction of five double-layer border fences--totaling 698 miles--in California and Arizona.

Over 4,000 people have died trying to cross the US/ Mexican border since fences in California forced people to cross at points in the Sonora desert into Arizona.

  • Requiring employers to collect Social Security numbers and other data on workers and turn it over to the Department of Homeland Security, which would then verify worker’s "legal status" and store the data. All workers would, in effect, need a government clearance before they could have a job, any job.

  • In a related development, the U.S. government announced in February 2006 that it plans to pay Halliburton $385 million to build new “detention centers” to imprison us.

This is a chilling and potentially deadly development in a nation that kidnaps and spirits captives to secret prisons in Europe and which runs torture centers in places like Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo – torture centers which are condemned and denounced the world over.

In concert with the specter of mass deportations, pogroms, and widespread, race-based scapegoating, new “detention centers” strikes a chord eerily close to concentration camp.

As one writer questioned “Just what will happen in these detention centers, built to lock away undocumented people whose legal rights have been disappeared, and who have been cast as "hordes," "invaders," and a threat to national security? “

On the ultra-Right, anti-Mexican shock groups such as the National Policy Institute, Minutemen leaders, and others are calling for our mass deportation.

The Minutemen’s Jim Gilchrist has called for the National Guard to be deployed at the Mexican / US border. Gilchrist’s partner and rival in the Minutemen, Chris Simcox, makes the agenda clear, saying, "Oh, Jesus, it is unbelievable. I mean, we need the National Guard to clean out all our cities and round them up. They are hard-core criminals. They have no problem slitting your throat and taking your money or selling drugs to your kids or raping your daughters and they are evil people."

While there is no mention of using the National Guard under the federal legislation currently under consideration, clear steps leading toward a police state for people of indigenous descent are being advanced – and the record shows that when the Euro-colonialist leadership of the US chooses to attack us, mass deportation of migrants and Chicanos alike is the weapon of choice. It can happen here. In fact, it has.

Over 1 million of us were deported during the racist “Operation Wetback” in the year 1954, alone.

Before the mass deportations during the Great Depression a Congressman from Texas testified in formal hearings that a strict quota system should be imposed on Mexicans because we are "germ-carriers, inassimilable, a people who are with us but not of us, and not for us." We are, he said "… incapable of development away from” a condition of “moral and financial pauperism,” and that our influence was causing “the breaking down of [the] social fabric...."

If this rhetoric sounds familiar, it should. It is the unchanging rhetoric of white nationalism.

That such rhetoric is being used again by the highest authorities in the US should be cause for deep alarm, especially in the context of the Patriot Act and other dramatic moves toward legalized fascism in the US.

That the State is acting on this rhetoric to create a felonized, legally scapegoated racial and cultural under-caste calls for uncompromising action aimed at our self defense as a People.


Juan Santos is a writer and editor in Los Angeles. He can be reached at

The Sino-Soviet issue
Source: Xinhua - People's Daily Online

China, Russia pledge to deepen all-facet ties with sweeping deals signed

China and Russia pledged to deepen their ties on Tuesday as they inked sweeping deals ranging from politics and diplomacy to energy and finance.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin agree "bilateral relations are at an unprecedented level of development" as the two leaders commended the fruitful cooperation achieved under the ten-year-old Sino-Russia strategic partnership of cooperation.

Putin, who arrived here on Tuesday morning, held talks with Hu for two hours in the Great Hall of the People before witnessing the signing of a series of agreements, including an over arching document titled the China-Russia Joint Statement.

Of the 15 agreements, three concern future cooperation on oil and natural gas projects. No specific deal was reached on the construction of an oil pipeline.

China and Russia encourage companies from both nations to invest in oil and gas exploration in order to tap the energy potential of both nations, according to the statement.

Noting that China is Russia's fourth largest trading partner, Putin said Russia was "very satisfied with bilateral trade ties."

There still exists huge potential in bilateral trade cooperation, Putin said. "China-Russia trade volume will surely meet the set goal of 60 to 80 billion U.S. dollars in 2010."

This is the fifth meeting between the two heads of state in the last 12 months.

Other senior Chinese and Russian leaders also frequently exchanged views through a series of high-level consultations, which Hu said "helps the two countries coordinate on major issues concerning their fundamental interests."

Another item high on the agenda of Putin's two-day state visit was inaugurating the Year of Russia in China, which involves more than 200 activities.

Putin said the hosting of Year of Russia shows that the current Russia-China relations have reached "a very high level and will lay a better foundation for their future development."

Hu and Putin also exchanged views on a wide range of heated international issues, covering the Iran nuclear standoff, the Korean nuclear issue, Palestine-Israel disputes, central Asian and Iraqi issues.

They also vowed to step up coordination within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which includes as members Russia, China and four Central Asian states -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

"China and Russia believe the development of the SCO is an important task of their diplomatic work and continue to closely coordinate their positions within the SCO," the statement says.

"The two countries will continuously exchange views on major international issues through various channels," the statement says.

Putin was accompanied by a delegation of about 90, many of whom are key Russian entrepreneurs in the fields of energy, banking, telecommunications, media and other industries. They are expected to exchange views with their Chinese counterparts.

During Putin's stay in Beijing, a Sino-Russian economic and trade summit will be held and the two sides will launch a series of business activities in a bid to boost trade and investment.

Putin ended the first day of his visit by attending the premiere of the Year of Russia at the Great Hall of People.

Source: Xinhua
People's Daily Online ---

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Oil issue

Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 13:45:53 -0500 (EST)
From: Greg Palast
Subject: Bush Didn't Bungle Iraq, You Fools

Bush Didn't Bungle Iraq, You Fools
by Greg Palast
for The Guardian

20 March 2006

Get off it. All the carping, belly-aching and complaining about George Bush's incompetence in Iraq, from both the Left and now the Right, is just dead wrong.

On the third anniversary of the tanks rolling over Iraq's border, most of the 59 million Homer Simpsons who voted for Bush are beginning to doubt if his mission was accomplished.

But don't kid yourself -- Bush and his co-conspirator, Dick Cheney, accomplished exactly what they set out to do. In case you've forgotten what their real mission was, let me remind you of White House spokesman Ari Fleisher's original announcement, three years ago, launching of what he called,


O.I.L. How droll of them, how cute. Then, Karl Rove made the giggling boys in the White House change it to "OIF" -- Operation Iraqi Freedom. But the 101st Airborne wasn't sent to Basra to get its hands on Iraq's OIF.

"It's about oil," Robert Ebel told me. Who is Ebel? Formerly the CIA's top oil analyst, he was sent by the Pentagon, about a month before the invasion, to a secret confab in London with Saddam's former oil minister to finalize the plans for "liberating" Iraq's oil industry. In London, Bush's emissary Ebel also instructed Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum, the man the Pentagon would choose as post-OIF oil minister for Iraq, on the correct method of disposing Iraq's crude.

And what did the USA want Iraq to do with Iraq's oil? The answer will surprise many of you: and it is uglier, more twisted, devilish and devious than anything imagined by the most conspiracy-addicted blogger. The answer can be found in a 323-page plan for Iraq's oil secretly drafted by the State Department. Our team got a hold of a copy; how, doesn't matter. The key thing is what's inside this thick Bush diktat: a directive to Iraqis to maintain a state oil company that will "enhance its relationship with OPEC."

Enhance its relationship with OPEC??? How strange: the government of the United States ordering Iraq to support the very OPEC oil cartel which is strangling our nation with outrageously high prices for crude.

Specifically, the system ordered up by the Bush cabal would keep a lid on Iraq's oil production -- limiting Iraq's oil pumping to the tight quota set by Saudi Arabia and the OPEC cartel.

There you have it. Yes, Bush went in for the oil -- not to get MORE of Iraq's oil, but to prevent Iraq producing TOO MUCH of it.

You must keep in mind who paid for George's ranch and Dick's bunker: Big Oil. And Big Oil -- and their buck-buddies, the Saudis -- don't make money from pumping more oil, but from pumping LESS of it. The lower the supply, the higher the price.

It's Economics 101. The oil industry is run by a cartel, OPEC, and what economists call an "oligopoly" -- a tiny handful of operators who make more money when there's less oil, not more of it. So, every time the "insurgents" blow up a pipeline in Basra, every time Mad Mahmoud in Tehran threatens to cut supply, the price of oil leaps. And Dick and George just LOVE it.

Dick and George didn't want more oil from Iraq, they wanted less. I know some of you, no matter what I write, insist that our President and his Veep are on the hunt for more crude so you can cheaply fill your family Hummer; that somehow, these two oil-patch babies are concerned that the price of gas in the USA is bumping up to $3 a gallon.

No so, gentle souls. Three bucks a gallon in the States (and a quid a litre in Britain) means colossal profits for Big Oil, and that makes Dick's ticker go pitty-pat with joy. The top oily-gopolists, the five largest oil companies, pulled in $113 billion in profit in 2005 -- compared to a piddly $34 billion in 2002 before Operation Iraqi Liberation. In other words, it's been a good war for Big Oil.

As per Plan Bush, Bahr Al-Ulum became Iraq's occupation oil minister; the conquered nation "enhanced its relationship with OPEC;" and the price of oil, from Clinton peace-time to Bush war-time, shot up 317%.

In other words, on the third anniversary of invasion, we can say the attack and occupation is, indeed, a Mission Accomplished. However, it wasn't America's mission, nor the Iraqis'. It was an Mission Accomplished for OPEC and Big Oil.


On June 6, Penguin Dutton will release GREG PALAST'S NEW BOOK, "ARMED MADHOUSE: DISPATCHES FROM THE FRONT LINES OF THE CLASS WAR." Order it today -- and view his investigative reports for Harper's Magazine and BBC television's Newsnight -- at

Palast returns to the pages of the Guardian today with this column. Catch his commentaries weekly.


Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Iran issue

I received the following message. Anyone want to comment?


From: "Brian Hill"
To: "'Richard Moore'"
Subject: FW: Morton on possible strike on Iran AND economy thumbnail
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2006 09:08:52 -0800
Organization: Institute for Cultural Ecology

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2006 3:27 AM
Subject: Morton on possible strike on Iran AND economy thumbnail

>Organization: Prophecy Research Institute
>Subject: Some Updates
>Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2006


Sean Morton is predicting that we are going to bomb Iran the last week of March.

Don Durrett

-----Original Message-----

Dear Don,

Common sense has NEVER permeated the Bush Administration. But I am sure there are a group of people it makes PERFECT sense to, as confusing stupidity with what serves THEIR agenda is a BIG mistake.

As I said, Battle Groups and subs are in the deepest part of the Straits of Hormuz NOW with more on the way. Weather conditions and winds are being checked AND we like to attack on the NEW MOON, especially an eclipse, as it helps our Stealth Craft and lends towards more Shock and Awe.

Remember that I predicted we would start the war with Iraq in late February of 2003 and it didn't start until March 17. I guess the critics and internet booger eating 12 year olds (mentally and physically) all living in their parents basements would considered that a "MISS" on my part? In fact astrologer Stacey Dean DID give the EXACT DATES of the start of the Iraq war many months in advance.

Again the PROBABILITIES for an attack from March 20-29 are at 80%. This IS NOT SPECULATION. This is being geared up for NOW!

HOWEVER, there have been THREE OTHER OCCASIONS when we were about to attack and political events derailed it. AND this MAY be saber rattling to spook everyone into thinking about the consequences of pissing off Uncle Sam. A DEAL is still on the table with military strikes as the STICK.

Also, we are talking about SURGICAL STRIKES against ONLY the nuke facilities, NOT wholesale bombing of cities and civilian targets. We will use the same defense the Israelis used when they bombed similar facilities in Iraq. The BIG DIFFF here is that OUR Excaliber missiles are NUCLEAR. Small nukes, but NUKES nonetheless.


If the S&P hits 1310 and holds, that WOULD signal a break above resistance and likely one last major spike up to fool everyone.

What's interesting about this ??? Namely, a juicy report that the government has just INJECTED a huge amount of liquidity into the markets. How much? They have been inflating money supply at a 20% annualized rate in the last two weeks AND that US money supply has been increased over the last 12 weeks at an annual rate of $1 trillion!

This is EXACTLY as I predicted that we would see one last big shot of horse shot into the Junkie before he dies. One last great HIGH to get ALL the suckers into the elevator before they cut the cable. This is why we have "Helicopter Ben" in place at the Fed. This is why the FED took the money supply OFF the M-3 index!

When have we seen this AWFUL movie before?

Ominously ... the government did the same thing in that last stretch before the NASDAQ spiked up and crashed in the BUBBLE BATH of 2000 ('bubble bath', you like that one?). Anyway, this explains why this tired, lethargic, overbought market continues to bob its head above water.

This also explains why the market is able to move much higher even as we have record levels of mutual fund inflows (usually marks a top) as well as record low levels of cash in mutual funds.

One estimate puts the net worth of the US government at MINUS $34.8 TRILLION. GEEZ! And people thought ENRON had problems...

Great to hear from you as always and feel free to pass this on!


Sean Morton

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Euro vs. Dollar issue

This issue came up on our "What happens next?" thread, but it probably deserves a thread on its own.


Arab central banks move assets out of dollar Thursday, Mar 16 2006

Palestine and International News and USA Editor 12:03 am By Philip Thornton, Economics Correspondent Published: 14 March 2006

Middle Eastern anger over the decision by the US to block a Dubai company from buying five of its ports hit the dollar yesterday as a number of central banks said they were considering switching reserves into euros.The United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, said it was looking to move one-tenth of its dollar reserves into euros, while the governor of the Saudi Arabian central bank condemned the US move as "discrimination".

Separately, Syria responded to US sanctions against two of its banks by confirming plans to use euros instead of dollars for its external transactions.

The remarks combined to knock the dollar, which fell against the euro, pound and yen yesterday as analysts warned other central banks might follow suit.

Last week the US caused dismay after political opposition to the takeover of P&O by Dubai Ports World forced DPW to agree to transfer P&O's US port management business to a "US entity" .

The governor of the UAE central bank, Sultan Nasser al-Suweidi, said the bank was looking to convert 10 per cent of its reserves, which stand at $23bn (£13.5bn), from dollars to euros. "They are contravening their own principles," he said. "Investors are going to take this into consideration [and] will look at investment opportunities through new binoculars."

Hamad Saud al-Sayyari, the governor of the Saudi Arabian monetary authority, said: "Is it protection or discrimination? Is it okay for US companies to buy everywhere but it is not okay for other companies to buy the US?"

Syria has switched the state's foreign currency transactions to euros from dollars, the head of the state-owned Commercial Bank of Syria, Duraid Durgham, said.

Last week the White House told US financial institutions to terminate all correspondent accounts involving the Commercial Bank of Syria because of money-laundering concerns. Mohammad al-Hussein, Syria's finance minister, said: "Syria affirms that this decision and its timing are fundamentally political."

The euro rose a quarter of one percentage point against the dollar to a one-week high of $1.1945, although it retreated in later trading.

Monica Fan, at RBC Capital Markets, said: "The issue is whether we will see similar attitudes taken by other Middle Eastern banks. It is a question of momentum."

The IndependentMiddle Eastern anger over the decision by the US to block a Dubai company from buying five of its ports hit the dollar yesterday as a number of central banks said they were considering switching reserves into euros.

The United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, said it was looking to move one-tenth of its dollar reserves into euros, while the governor of the Saudi Arabian central bank condemned the US move as "discrimination".

Separately, Syria responded to US sanctions against two of its banks by confirming plans to use euros instead of dollars for its external transactions.

The remarks combined to knock the dollar, which fell against the euro, pound and yen yesterday as analysts warned other central banks might follow suit.

Last week the US caused dismay after political opposition to the takeover of P&O by Dubai Ports World forced DPW to agree to transfer P&O's US port management business to a "US entity" .

The governor of the UAE central bank, Sultan Nasser al-Suweidi, said the bank was looking to convert 10 per cent of its reserves, which stand at $23bn (£13.5bn), from dollars to euros. "They are contravening their own principles," he said. "Investors are going to take this into consideration [and] will look at investment opportunities through new binoculars.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

What should we be doing?

What should we be doing, in the face of the multiple crises facing humanity? Should we be organizing politically?…storming the barricades?…packing a survivalist kit?…joining a sustainable community? Or do we just get what we can from the system, for ourselves and our family, and not worry about “things we can’t change”? Do we even ask ourselves such questions? Are we in a state of denial?

rex and rml have brought up these kinds of questions in their recent comments to the posting, “What’s likely to happen over the next few months?” The two topics are certainly related, but I think our dialog would proceed more productively if we give each its own thread, one exploring "the problem" and the other "the solution."

To that purpose, I’ll relocate those previous comments over to this thread, leaving both threads with a clearer focus.

Don’t be afraid to throw in your two cents,

Monday, March 06, 2006

What's likely to happen over the next few months?

Earl’s scared-child-going-down-slide image does capture, as I too see it, the nature of the perilous times facing us in the very near future. Earl says “weeks” and he may be on the mark.

In my estimation,the gravest immediate threat is a nuclear attack on Iran. Others, such as Chris Cook, who are in-the-know, argue against that eventuality: What the Iran ‘nuclear issue’ is really about He sees US oil security as being the root of US policy, and dismisses the Engdahlian view [I was wrong about Engdahl here, see later comments on this thread - rkm], which I share, that sees primacy in the strategy of oil-based financial dominance. At the core of our disagreement are different judgments regarding which elements are at the top of the power pyramid, and what are their perceived self-interests.

Michel Chossudovsky offers a comprehensive overview on the Iran situation, transcribed from a radio broadcast, Regardless of our geopolitical theories, the signs from the White House, Pentagon, and Tel Aviv seem to clearly signal that an attack project is in progress.

Some observers focus their attention on an anticipated meltdown of the US economy, based on a number of considerations. Bruce Porteous covers the ground rather well in The Coming Economic Collapse. Many others focus more specifically on peak oil and/or global warming, talking not just about an economic meltdown, but the collapse of civilization itself. Others focus on the increasingly fascist nature of the US government in the wake of 911, and present evidence of a network of internment centers, and other signs that the Third Reich model is being systematically implemented.

In considering the whole picture—at the level of the child on the slide—I think it is important to keep two things in mind: (1) all of these things are unfolding at the same time, and (2) whoever is behind US policy is aware of the whole scenario. To assume less of ‘them’ would be naive. If a war is being planned in Iran, we can assume there are corresponding plans underway to deal with oil shortages, economic collapse, anti-war sentiment, etc. I don’t mean deal with them in the way you and I would consider sensible, but deal with them in a way that serves ‘their’ perceived long-term self-interest.


Getting the word out about ETM...

Book promotion is one good thing we could work on in this forum, if others are interested.

I'm new at this sort of thing, and would like to benefit from others' experience & ideas.

Also, as we chat, people might think of good radio stations, website, and other venues that could be approahd with some kind of announcement or press release.

Friday, March 03, 2006

How to register on blogspot...

The procedure is not obvious for first time users.

I added a new link, over to the right on our list of links, that takes you to a step by step set of intstructions, with screen image.

happy blogging,

Ok, ball is ready to roll

Let's see what we can do.

Meanwhile, there's lots going on internationally, as we all know. My feelings about the coming weeks are expressed well in the photo.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

starting the ball rolling…


I'm looking forward to this forum. We have a very interesting bunch of folks on our lists, with useful things to say, and it's high time we had a more open forum.

I recommend that you register with blogspot. You can ask them to keep your email address private, if you like. However you can comment on postings here whether or not you register. Many other blogs allow comments only by registered bloggers.

If you want to become a team member, so you can make your own postings, you can just leave a comment to that effect on this posting, including your email address, or if you want that private, email me instead.

happy dialog,